"We’d already driven for over six hours and covered more than 350 miles before boarding a ferry in Oban sailing to Lochboisdale. The Lord of the Isles took a further five and a half hours before it eventually docked a little after seven that evening. We were tired and hungry, in need of food and sleep."
Top 20 Most Underrated Golf Courses of Great Britain & Ireland
The only thing that everybody can agree on when rating golf courses is that it's such a subjective matter.
However, there is so much information out there on websites, in books and magazines that it seems a collective opinion has been formed about the best golf courses. It's not quite a closed shop but it's a tough school to break into and the running order is often very similar.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played extensively throughout Great Britain & Ireland and below he gives his top 20 most underrated golf courses. These are the ones that he feels do not get the due recognition they deserve in most (not all) of the ranking lists.
The majority of the courses do feature in the various lists so effectively it is a list of the "most underrated highly rated" golf courses! The ones that don't get the credit they deserve relative to their competition. Essentially he feels they should be significantly higher than they generally are.
We also list some 'under-the-radar' contenders which primarily don't feature in the ratings but we think they perhaps should.
All of the venues also have a full golf course review.
Top 20 Most Underrated Golf Courses of Great Britain
"In my eyes Silloth is a golf course that has the ability to transcend your typical ‘championship links’. It has charm, character, intrigue and an identity all of its own but at the same time presents the truest, and quite often, stiffest of challenges to the golfer. It's an inspirational golf course with an endless collection of brilliant golf holes."
"Over breakfast at the guest house in Dornoch where we were staying conversation is struck up with a fellow guest; an American from Chicago and a member at Royal Dornoch. When informed that we were heading to Brora for the day he says, “It’s a very special place, the course simply builds and builds and the back nine is truly outstanding.”"
"Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as it is often fondly referred to, is a very special place. That much is obvious from the moment you drive into the car park and are informed, by an unmissable sign on the side of the historic clubhouse, that you have just arrived at England's oldest course."
"The links at Burnham & Berrow begins at a pulsating pace and rarely lets up until the moment you reach the comfort of the historic 100-year-old clubhouse where you are able to relax and reflect. This is true championship golf of the highest order with the opening three holes epitomising everything that is great and superior about links golf."
"Looking out from the clubhouse at Berwick upon Tweed Golf Club you would be forgiven for thinking that the course wasn’t really up to a great deal. You would be wrong. Very wrong. For it is not until you venture a little further out onto the bumpy linksland at Goswick that the golf course really starts to come alive and show its full character."
"There is something about Elie that puts you under a spell. It is a truly magical links that, after just one round, has won a place in my heart and mind forever. If ever the phrase ‘less is more’ applied to a course it would be here at The Golf House Club, Elie in Fife. The harmony between golf and nature is at its beautiful best here and a joy to experience."
"Golf courses such as Tenby are very few and far between. For me they capture the absolute essence of links golf. They provide not only a true test of the game but give you much more than that; they provide a memorable and scintillating golfing experience."
"I recently took the opportunity to play Royal Wimbledon Golf Club in their 36-hole scratch open competition, The Royal Wimbledon Trophy. It’s a golf course that has long been on my radar to play but the consequence of having to drive deep into London coupled with a hefty visitor green-fee of £155 had delayed the process."
10. Moray (Old)
"The members of Moray Golf Club, founded in 1889, must rightly be very proud of their two fine links courses laid out on some fabulous tight and sandy golfing terrain to the south of the Moray Firth. The Old is an unheralded classic links designed by Old Tom Morris with deep revetted bunkers, undulating gorse lined fairways and some excellent green complexes."
15. Seaton Carew
17. Beau Desert
19. Delamere Forest
We would love to hear if you agree or disagree with our selections. You can do so in the comments box below or tweet us.